The AOAC Food Allergen Community has published its first newsletter for 2017, with a focus on reference materials for food allergen analysis. Contributing author Roland Poms from MoniQA Association describes the first validated set of reference materials, commercially released in January 2017. Katharina Scherf from the German Institute for Food Chemistry provides details about her investigations into gluten protein types from wheat, rye, barley and oats that can be used as reference materials.
As Editorial Board Member Bert Popping points out in his introductory comments, there are several factors that complicate the development of standardized reference materials for allergen analysis. For example, peanuts in USA and China can be significantly different in their composition, while internationally-standardised reference materials for allergen analysis must reflect what is currently traded on the market as a food ingredient.
While several food allergen reference materials have been developed to-date, limitations to the available knowledge and methodological abilities do not yet allow certification of these according to international standards (ISO) requirements. MoniQA Association is leading an international task force to address certification issues and is a supplier of the first validated reference materials for milk allergen analysis.
Various gluten and gliadin preparations frequently used as reference materials for both clinical and analytical purposes have been found to be quite different in protein content bringing a level of uncertainty when comparing results from different methods. Katharina Scherf and her team recently developed and applied a comprehensive strategy to isolate well-defined gluten protein fractions and gluten protein types from wheat, rye, barley and oat flours suitable as reference material for clinical assays and gluten-free compliance testing. Her Open Access publication describes the preparative strategy she used to develop these materials.
The Allergen Bureau has provided input to the AOAC Food Allergen Community through our Vice-President, Rob Sherlock (DTS Food Assurance), who is a representative and participant within the Community.
The AOAC Food Allergen Community newsletter can be read in full here. This issue also provides a link to subscribe to receive future issues of the AOAC Food Allergen Community newsletters by email.